Eldest Hobbit is studying "When my Gran was a girl..." or "olden days" as he calls it. I scanned a few photos for him to take in, glad that they will have a full history for at least one side of their family. How important knowing your own family tree is I am not sure. Perhaps to have anecdotes to colour in the characters of people you will never know but who you are still attached to through relations. To know what was there before you, where your family came from.
I never knew my maternal grandfather. Yet despite his death when I was only a few months old I look at his kind face in these old photographs and I do feel as though I know him. I've pieced together who he was from stories and memories from other family members, the things he went through during the war and after, his brothers who nearly all died in one battle during the war that went before (which luckily both my grandfathers were only just too young to be sent into but both of them had brothers who went - miraculously all survived although not without scars, one example; my father's uncle returned without sight or hearing and with severe lung problems.)
In fact the Hobbits' own grandfather was in the RAF during WW2 as a teenager seeing things that no teen should see. They will one day be able to place that history with him, they will be able to see him as a young man on a cool motorbike (a motorbike that once nearly wiped out this linage they are part of) and know the background that made him into the Grandpa they love.
I have the photographs, I will pass them on. And the stories will go on to another generation.
Forging ahead in my attempt to keep the Hobbits happy with as normal a life as possible under these circumstances I took them on a trip to the Royal Museum in Edinburgh.
A long time favourite there is enough in there, and the attached Museum of Scotland, to keep them busy for hours. Even if they are not yet tall enough for their feet to reach the peddles so they can have a go on the racing car. (Eldest Hobbit: But Mummy *brother* can do the peddles and I'll steer!)
And a good day was had by all without a shadow cast over us by evil-X as he will from now on be known. (Him to me: Technically we are still married. Me to him: Yes, technically, that is all.)
Also planned for this week, the October holidays, are a trip to the zoo (because Mummy wants to see the Koalas dammit!) and a trip to Glasgow to satisfy the Hobbits' desire to go on the underground aka the Clockwork Orange. Normal life is resuming no matter what evil-X tries.
I knew I wasn't going to get through this week without hurting myself. The first sign was a couple of days ago when for the first time in my life I managed to set fire to the frying pan, I was cooking some mushrooms, not flambe unfortunately. Was it luck or stupidity that the cooker is near enough the back door for me to pick up the flaming pan and throw it unceremoniously into the garden. Bet that frightened the local birds who are more used to offerings of crumbs than that. I am well aware of what you are supposed to do in those situations however knowledge is nothing when faced with flames, thinking was not an option!
After that little fiasco, which has left me without a frying pan, not such a bad thing after all, I went through a succession of little accidents. None of which caused much more than an annoyance at my resemblance to Norman Wisdom at times. Elegant I ain't.
Until today. When I decided to enjoy the sunshine of an October day with a trip to the local country park, Muiravonside. Now at this park, lining the river Avon (you would never have guessed that, hmm?) is what the Hobbits call the "Troll Bridge." A little wooden bridge leading over a stream that feeds into the larger river. After visiting the farm, Hobbits delighting in the fact that every time we go the huge Tamworth pigs are always sleeping and snoring, we took a walk down to the Troll Bridge.
Once safely across, no trolls having shown their faces, we decided to continue the walk so the Hobbits could try out their wellies in the river. Only it turns out that a little boy had stood on a wasps nests. Picture three adults, four children aged between 3ish and 9ish and one small Spaniel dog running and flapping as the wasps enjoyed a stinging frenzy. Poor youngest Hobbit came off worse of our family, although it was more the thought that was terrifying him, wasps clung to his clothes. Eldest Hobbit wasn't stung once. Something he proceeded to tell everyone he met on the rest of the walk and at the play park we eventually ended up in.
While picking them off youngest Hobbits clothes I felt a pain on my calf, looked down and sure enough one of the little f***ers was stinging away.
Of the other family only the little boy (the one who was about 3ish) wasn't stung, and he was the one who had started it off in the first place! He looked fairly bemused at his parents hopping around picking wasps off his elder brother and sister and their dog who seemed to be the wasps' favourite.
The rest of the day went well though. But my leg is agony, little bugger packed a decent sting.
I went to the tutorial at Napier University on Saturday (having to leave the Hobbits in daddy and the girlfriends care again but that is another story.)
I have no doubt that I am in no way as good as any of the others who attended but I will try my best. Really made a prize fool of myself by not reading out what I had written because I was so embarrassed. The others must have wondered why I bothered going if I wasn't going to enter into the spirit of things wholeheartedly. But they are a nice group of people so said nothing.
So the week wasn't a complete disaster.
There is a postal strike, seems to be going on forever and I am sure the only people to suffer will be those of us waiting for important documents. Wait, wasn't I in this exact same position in July? Ah, good old posties.
This week will be for recovering and for sending the scribblings I was to ashamed to read out in class to the tutor under the proviso of a dummy eTMA. See what he thinks of them.
(Annoyingly I made another grand prat of myself by saying I did not like reading "Chic-lit." I only said that to generalise about what I wasn't too keen on but had a couple of the other women in the group act like I said the books should be burned. One stated she liked Marian Keyes, who I don't consider chic-lit. I must remember that next time I am faced with that I should grow a backbone and explain that I mean the London-set, professional female character who aims for nothing higher than shoes and a love affair kind. And I should state why I don't like them. But I hate speaking out. The whole world will one day figure me out as an idiot.)
Now lets see, how did his grand job go? Well poor youngest hobbit was sick again, all over dear daddy's car and no I did not pay him to do so. Rather than phone me, at which point I would have turned back because regardless for my wish to change the situation my sons come first, he tries to send the poor lad into school covered in sick!
Luckily the deputy head persuaded him to take youngest hobbit with him. But of course, dear daddy counts on things going exactly to plan. Not for him the chaos of children or ever changing plans. He needs to go to work and nothing will stop him. So he takes youngest hobbit over to the new-girlfriend-who-wasn't-but-is in their house. Now it isn't so much that he has a girlfriend I am bothered about, or that they moved in together so quickly (plus the whole story of her living with her boyfriend who he worked with which turns out to be half truth.) It is the fact I know nothing about her. Yet he leaves youngest hobbit in her care.
And she takes him to the park and subsequently he gets ill again so she then carries him back home throwing her back out in the process. (Yet she is well enough to once again tag along on Saturday when he has the boys for a few hours.) Oh this just gets better.
He is angry at me because youngest Hobbit got sick. I am angry at him that the one time since they were born that I ask him to do something he f*cks it up so grandly that he feels the need to blame me - as usual. He is also angry that his new girlfriend is injured, saying I should buy her a box of chocolates for her troubles. Well sometimes it is a wonder that he doesn't get a smack in the face for his comments yet I am so used to it. They are a real eye-opener for me now that I can view them from outside the marriage.
The more important thing is, youngest Hobbit remained off school for the rest of the week, diagnosed by the doctor as having gastroenteritis, eldest Hobbit got off much lighter but was off at the end of the week. Both are fine and back at school today. And I got the job. And I don't really want it so now I feel guilty.